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Pterodactyl fossil reveals complex flight

Posted on Monday, 10 August, 2009 | Comment icon 5 comments


Image credit: John Conway
 
Studies of a pterodactyl fossil have shown that the creature had complex wing fibers that would have enabled it to fly with the same precision as modern birds. Flying reptiles dominated the prehistoric skies 220 million years ago.

"A fossil of a pterodactyl, the earliest known flying vertebrate, shows the creatures had unique and complex wing fibers that enabled them to fly with the precision and control of birds, researchers said on Wednesday."

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 Source: Telegraph


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Abramelin on 10 August, 2009, 11:01
Makes you wonder why they died out, and birds did not...
Comment icon #2 Posted by TALM on 10 August, 2009, 16:03
That looks like a flying monkey.
Comment icon #3 Posted by donehung on 11 August, 2009, 1:30
The first question that comes to my mind is, if these were in fact the first flying animals how could they have such complex flight. I was under the impression that according to the laws of "evolution" the first flyers would have had rudimentary flight capabilities.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ShadowSot on 11 August, 2009, 2:08
The first question that comes to my mind is, if these were in fact the first flying animals how could they have such complex flight. I was under the impression that according to the laws of "evolution" the first flyers would have had rudimentary flight capabilities. This specimen was not the first flying animal, they don't give a date range for this one, but they were present up until the end of the dinosaurs. Aside from this species going extinct, a side order of birds also went out around the same time.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BaneSilvermoon on 11 August, 2009, 2:52
I've been wondering when we'd start seeing more results coming out from this. As far as being the first flying animal. Dinosaurs, in the form you think of when someoen says the word, are thought to have started showing up somewhere around 230 million years ago. The Paleozoic covered about a 300 million year span before that. A wee bit of a stretch to assume there were no winged animals during that 300 million years?


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